eBay.com announces automatic 5* DSR for free shipping

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Delivering serviceeBay’s official blog, eBay Ink announced yesterday that on eBay.com, transactions with free shipping will automatically receive a 5-star score for the shipping DSR. The change takes place with immediate effect.

For transactions where eBay can see that there was no shipping charged, the DSR screen will appear as below, with buyers unable to leave any score for this element. In order to qualify,

  • the item must have a free shipping option
  • the buyer must have selected the free shipping option during checkout
  • sellers must use a verifiable payment method (i.e. PayPal, MoneyBookers, PayMate, ProPay) and use eBay checkout

shipping DSR

Sellers have been complaining for a long time now about being scored for shipping prices when they haven’t charged them: we’ve heard all sorts of bizarre stories, from the seller who introduced free P&P and saw his DSR score fall from 4.8 to 4.5, to the buyer who said “you didn’t charge me, so I couldn’t score you, so I gave you a 1”. So sellers already offering free P&P will doubtless be delighted to see this.

Others who do charge for shipping will be less enthusiastic: as Whirly commented on Ink, “Sellers are already jumping through a massive amount of hoops in a desperate attempt to gain TRS: this will force the desperate ones to move to a free P&P model.” He’s absolutely right that this highlights what a farce the DSRs have become; I’d have preferred to see the shipping DSR just disappear for free shipping, rather than be an automatic 5.

I should stress that this is eBay.com and eBay.ca only at the moment; according to @eBay_Andy on Twitter, it’s coming soon to the UK, Germany and Australia. Watch this space.

What do you think? Thumbs up, or thumbs down? Leave us a comment.

Thanks to the lovely Magnumopus for the heads up.

25 Responses

  1. I can’t make my mind up on this one. I offer a mix of ‘free’ P&P and charged-for P&P.

    Yes a lot of people have been asking for it and eBay are quick to say ‘Look! we’re listening to sellers’, but a lot of others don’t want it. I foresee unhappy buyers using one or more of the other DSRs to register their discontent if something is amiss with the postage aspect of the sale, for instance if the packaging is poor.

    I’m firmly on the fence with this one.

  2. This is a bad move for sellers reliant on cross border trade for which ‘free’ p/p is very unlikely to be offered.

    If it’s 5 stars for ‘free’ it could easliy become 4 stars for ‘not free’.

    This could be seen as a further fee grab by eBay and it certainly does add a further complication to the assessment of sellers.

    eTRS on US / DE sites for UK sellers could become a thing of the past – with the consequent loss of position in best match and thus loss of sales.

    If 4 stars becomes anything like the norm on home sites then those that charge for p/p are headed for BSS.

  3. I think it is a positive move. I already offer free shipping and currently have a DSR score of 4.9 so it won’t make any difference to me overall, but I do beleive this is a decision in the right direction for ebay. I know we all like to moan about ebay but we also have to give praise where its due.

  4. It’s of no use to sellers who typically get multiple orders. Buyers are going to be overcharged since there is no easy discount mechanism.

    It will disadvantage international sales.

    It’s a fee grab, the stars being a red herring.

    Apart from that, I’m all for it.

  5. My view is that something that is supposed to be subjective should never be influenced by the system. Having eBay decide the feedback corrupts it. Especially considering all feedback counts equally regardless of the item being sold.

  6. 1 down 4 to go. This is the beginning of the end for DSR’s as we know them…and quite right too.

    Using the exact same logic, I would like an automatic 5 where the item is dispatched within the time stated (easily abused but…)

    …and again using the same logic, where the buyer doesn’t open a SNAD, I want 5 stars for item as described…(although the buyer reads that one as “item as expected”)

  7. If you assume that annoyed buyers (for whatever reason) are going to mark down a different star when the P&P one is blocked, then the low scores will be spread across just 3 star categories, instead of 4.

    Given the very low threshold to lose TRS, that’s not as good news as some people seem to think.

  8. Indeed, and it’s not reasonable to expect somebody annoyed with what they’ve received to think “well the item is a fake, and a badly packed one at that, but I found their emails remarkably friendly and informative”

  9. I am happy with any bone that eBay throws sellers regarding the farce that is the DSR system…

    …however, this is nothing more than a bandage on the problem. The system is bad. Starting to monkey around with a bad system is just going to make a bad system confusing and annoying to buyers. How does that help in the long-run?

    Scrap the entire DSR system.

  10. And if we are going to be giving out forced 5* for all DSRs we might as well just give automatic positive feedback and a generic comment as well.

    Shipped item on time. Free shipping. Did not make me file SNAD. Did not spam me.

    That’s 80 characters by the way.

  11. Given that a seller provides an option of free shipping together with alternative premium to be paid for shipping services, why is the automatic 5* dsr only applied if the buyer selects the free shipping option?

    It appears that a seller who provides a choice of shipping options including one of free shipping is disadvantaged compared to those sellers who offer basic free shipping only.

  12. The DSR system has its good points and its bad.

    I think maybe something like the amazon system would work well on ebay as its the middle ground.

    DSR are important as it weeds out the bad sellers who provide a poor service, as they get the worst ratings and then get dropped in search and quite right too for any company like mine who works very hard to provide the best service possible, for that we should been given a few carrots (organic only please – lol)

    The bad part of the DSR is how ebay link it to too TRS as many ebay sellers how are just “normal – standard” dont get a boost for doing there job well and its only the TRS sellers that get the boost.

    We are currently TRS and have worked out a way to keep it but it means we having to go over the way way top on customer service, for example customer leaves positive feedback but states that delivery look longer than expected, so whats the betting they have left poor DSR ratings, so we contact them and issue a full refund and then ask if they could reply to message and say they are happy to remove the feedback and DSR rating, as soon as they reply we ring ebay and they remove the feedback and the DSR for that sale as the customer has given permission for that to be done, the product may have been sent next day and its RM who have caused the delay but we still issue and full refund, seems the only way to keep your TRS.

    So it will cause you some hassle to try and keep TRS and also cost you money – you have to weigh up the costs yourself too see if its worth it, some sellers it wont be worth it as margins are tight.

    Something to think about….

    Amazons system is fair, so long as you dont go past the 2.5 percent on certain KPI’s and 5 percent on others your fine, go over you get given time to get your house in order over 10 percent then you risk a 30 day suspension and that may still not happen so long as you nip the problem in bud quickly.

    Its fair as it makes sure you perform well most of the time and it still weeds out the bad sellers and if you go over the percentages all the time, then amazon will take action, we are below 1 percent on all and some are under half a percent but its fair and gives you a chance, after all from time to time we all have issues of some sort.

    I feel its now time for ebay to say they have gone way over the top.

    I think when new sellers register on the site they should be put on probation for 6 months and if they dont come up to a reasonable standard then they should not be allowed to sell on ebay, this would put a stop to a lot of the sellers just there to make a quick buck and dont give a toss about there buyers, ebay should also weed the realy bad sellers out and remove them from the site as they are giving us all a bad name “ebays outlet” selling lots of shoes is an example of this – why are they still on the site giving bad service to ebay users – Time they were removed or at the least given a few months so sort the act out or get “booted” off

    Anyway rant over – have a fab bank hol everyone

  13. An attempt by eBay to do this on any European site would probably be in breach of European Union Competition Law.

  14. Actually, we often get asked post sale, to make sure item arrives by the weekend etc (BIN on Wednesday).

    Free shipping option chosen by the buyer (upgrades available). Once they realise their mistake, I can definately see them marking down another star.

    But, conspiracy theorists could argue that P&P star will always get a lower rating from buyer anyway, so by eBay removing the option to leave a low P&P rating, they know that the buyer will then move onto destroy another of the DSR’s.

  15. It seems odd allowing customers to give feedback on something that is known in advance.

    When the shipping cost is clearly stated in the listing the customer has the choice to accept it and make the purchase, or not buy the item. This is the same as deciding whether the price of an item (for a buy it now listing) is acceptable.

    Other items of the shipping process such as the quality of the packaging and time to dispatch should still be rated. Although in terms of the quality of the packaging this is a simple “did the item arrive undamaged” yes/no question is all that is needed.


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